As we age, eating well can improve mental acuteness, energy levels, and resistance to illness. A healthy diet can also be the key to a positive outlook and staying emotionally balanced. Whatever your age, eating well should be all about fresh, tasty food with wholesome ingredients.
The environment plays a huge part in someone’s eating and drinking experience. It can affect how much a person enjoys eating – and therefore the amount they eat. In fact, a good mealtime experience can have a hugely positive effect on someone’s overall health and wellbeing.
No matter your age or your previous eating habits, it’s never too late to change your diet and improve the way you think and feel. Improving your diet now can help you:
Live longer and stronger – Good nutrition boosts immunity, fights illness-causing toxins, keeps weight in check, and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, and cancer.
Keep your mind sharp –People who eat fruit, leafy vegetables, fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidant-rich green tea may also enhance memory and mental alertness as you age.
Feel better – Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a boost to your mood and self-esteem. It’s all connected—when your body feels good you feel happier inside and out.
The important things to have.
Water – As we age, some of us are prone to dehydration Remember to sip water regularly to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and even confusion.
Vitamin B – After the age of 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid making it difficult to absorb vitamin B-12—needed to help keep blood and nerves healthy.
Vitamin D – With age, our skin is less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D, so consult your doctor about supplementing your diet with fortified foods or a multivitamin, especially if you are overweight or have limited sun exposure.
Healthy fats - Includes Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Other sources include flaxseed and walnuts.
Limit your intake of sugars - While our senses of taste and smell diminish with age, we retain the ability to distinguish sweet tastes the longest, leading many older people to consume more sugar and refined carbs than is healthy..
Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time. You’ll give your taste buds time to adjust and be able to wean yourself off the craving for sweets and sugary food.
A healthy, balanced diet can boost your energy levels, keep your bones strong and help sharpen the mind.
People living with dementia may overeat, because they have forgotten that they have recently eaten or are concerned about where the next meal is coming from.
Signs of under nutrition
- Weight loss
- Loose fitting clothes
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Sores around lips
- Hair loss
If you are caring for someone with a reduced appetite, or looking after yourself, it is essential to include snacks in between meals.
It is important for the senior generation to consume a varied diet high in energy and protein to assist in maintaining not only their weight but also muscle mass.